Monday, December 18, 2017

A Prescription For Moral And Cultural
By Michael L. Brown, PhD

OVERVIEW: In this hope-giving new book, Dr. brown reveals how to respond to the toughest of issues without compromising grace or biblical truth. Writing in clear, compelling prose, Dr. Brown takes on difficult subjects ranging from the sexualization of pop culture to the dumbing down of our schools, from the weakening of family structures to a pervasive culture of entitlement, while pointing consistently to the Bible's solution to these problems.

AUTHOR: Michael L. Brown holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a visiting or adjunct professor at seven top seminaries. The author of more than twenty-five books, Brown leads a ministry school that specializes in world missions and has preached and taught across America and around the world. He hosts the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program, as well as an apologetics TV program and appears often on national media. He and his wife, Nancy, have two children and four grandchildren. They live near Charlotte, NC.

MY REVIEW: Saving A Sick America is a great book. I read and review many books and I rarely say that one is great. This one is. And, in my opinion, it needs to be read by every American. Our country is in desperate need of a moral and cultural transformation. Michael Brown gives a prescription for that transformation in this book.

I agree with Professor Sean McDowell who wrote, "This book is insightful, convicting, and yet inspiring. My hat is off to Dr. Brown for having the courage to write this book." Brown writes in a clear, extremely readable style. His words are strong, powerful and forceful—but always kind. He hits close to home and urges us to "get our houses in order" but he does so with grace.

Christians will recognize this book as one that can help heal America. And a book that they will want to share with many others. 2017 is rapidly coming to a close and this may be my last book review for the year. It also may be the best book I have reviewed this year.

( I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Finding Fulfillment In A World
Obsessed With Happiness
By Emily Esfahani Smith

OVERVIEW: In The Power of Meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith shows us we've been chasing the wrong goal. It's not happiness that makes life worth living—it's meaning. Drawing on the latest research in psychology, as well as insights from philosophy and literature, Smith brings to life the four pillars of meaning—belonging, purpose, storytelling, and transcendence—and introduces us to extraordinary and ordinary people working to build those pillars in their own lives. Finally, she explores how we might begin to create cultures of meaning within our communities and institutions, helping all of us lead richer, more satisfying lives.

AUTHOR: Emily Esfahani Smith is a writer who draws on psychology, philosophy, and literature to write about the human experience. Her writing has appeared in the Wall street Journal, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, and other publications—and she delivered a 2017 TED Talk on creating a meaningful life. She is also an instructor of positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and an editor at the Stanford University Hoover Institution, where she manages the Ben Franklin Circles project, a collaboration with the 92nd Street Y and Citizen University to build meaning in local communities. She graduated from Dartmouth College and earned a master's in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

MY REVIEW: Reading this book, I have been "blown away" by the tremendous research done by the author. I am in awe of the amount of information in the notes alone. I am a voracious reader and have been for years. But Smith's research has provided wonderful, valuable information that I had not seen or heard about before. She writes clearly and beautifully. Laying out the evidence in an inspiring way as she quietly attacks the idea that happiness is a goal we should aim for in life.

I agree with author, Susan Cain who wrote, "In a culture constantly shouting about happiness, this warm and wise book leads us down the path to what truly matters. Reading it is a life-transforming experience." It took me longer to read this book than most of the ones I read but there was a good reason for it. I kept stopping, meditating and thinking through what I was reading. The book is filled with many stories of people searching for fulfillment. She tells the many struggles of those who look for happiness in all the wrong places. But the best part is when she writes about those who find fulfillment in a world obsessed with happiness.

Author, Adam Grant said "this is a book I've been awaiting for a very long time." I think many others have too. Being a minister I spend much time with the Bible and thinking about God. However I didn't expect this book to be filled with thoughts from the Bible. I am pleased that this book doesn't lead people away from God and the Bible and it will be extremely helpful to all those searching for meaning.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Friday, November 10, 2017

Heaven, Earth, And The
Restoration Of Everything
You Love
By John Eldredge

OVERVIEW: This revolutionary book about our future is based on the simple idea that, according to the Bible, heaven is not our eternal home—the New Earth is. As Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew, the next chapter of our story begins with "the renewal of all things," by which he means the earth we love in all its beauty, our own selves, and the things that make for a rich life: music, art, food, laughter, and all that we hold dear. Everything shall be renewed "when the world is made new."

AUTHOR: John Eldredge is an author, a counselor, and a teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own hearts in God's love, and learn to live in God's kingdom. John and his wife, Stasi, live near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

MY REVIEW: All Things New is one of the best—if not the best, book I have reviewed this year. That's not to say that I readily believe or agree with everything he says about heaven, earth and the restoration of everything we love. But I do agree with most of it and I am studying and reasoning about all of it. Eldredge is a marvelous story teller and I was moved by what he wrote.

All Things New sent me scurrying back to read again N.T. Wright's Surprised By Hope and The Day The Revolution Began. These three books have me rethinking heaven, the resurrection, and the mission of the church.

I agree with J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church, in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, "All Things New is a book about hope—real, gut-wrenching hope in the midst of the beauties and tragedies of life." And also, New York times bestselling author, Dr. John Townsend, "John Eldredge provides us with a very different and intriguing view: that ultimately God will bring about a renewed earth, the one we were supposed to live on and engage in, forever. That sort of hope can empower us to follow the path of growth here and now."

I recommend this book as one that will challenge your thinking and give you hope.

(I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Thursday, November 09, 2017

Healing Scriptures for Your
Mind, Body, and Soul
By Daniel G. Amen, MD

OVERVIEW: Stones of Remembrance is a wonderful resource to help cultivate the healing power of God-focused remembering. The book includes: Key Scriptures to memorize and meditate on so they'll always be with you when you need to be inspired, challenged, or comforted. *An introduction to the biblical and biological basis for remembrance as a healthy life habit. *Tips for incorporating Scripture meditation and memorization into your life and increasing your memory capability.

AUTHOR: Dr. Daniel G. Amen is a physician, a double board-certified psychiatrist, founder of Amen Clinics, a 10-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international speaker. Together with Pastor Rick Warren and Mark Hyman, MD, Dr. Amen is also one of the chief architects of Saddleback Church's Daniel Plan, a program to get the world healthy through religious organizations. Dr. Amen has written, produced, and hosted many popular public television shows about the brain that have aired across North America. he has spoken for the National Security Agency, and his work has been featured in outlets including, Newsweek, Time magazine, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Men's Health.

MY REVIEW: In his introduction to this special book, Dr. Amen tells us that God designed our minds to work—to remember. "It's been that way from the very beginning. "All throughout the Bible, we are encouraged—and even commanded—to remember. Stones of Remembrance—Healing Scriptures for Your Mind, Body, and Soul will help you to do just that—heal.

This is a small book. Just 117 pages. It is well written and easy to read. If you need to improve your memory, and most of us do, this book will be a great help. Part 1 is twelve spiritual disciplines for improving memory. They include rest, exercise, eating healthy, meditation and prayer and eight more needed disciplines. In part 2 Dr. Amen gives verses to remember when you are anxious, grateful, afraid, depressed, sick, angry, and nine more. And I especially like part 3 The Twelve Verses Every Christian Should Know.

The books ends with three Appendix. Three tips and exercises to help improve your memory and memorization. I don't think I am alone in needing this help. This is a book that will be a blessing to you and one that you will want to give as a gift.

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Monday, October 30, 2017

A guide to Winning Your Career
By Tim Cole

OVERVIEW: The Compass Solution was written for those who want to win their career, not just endure it. This is the definitive guide to successful career navigation. A practical resource that balances personal experience with proven theory. A guide for both the newcomer struggling to get started, and the veteran lost and effectively wandering. This book will introduce you to the four cardinal points of The Compass. These are the basic principles you can use to change your career trajectory; explained in practical terms and brought to life with personal stories. But the compass Solution is more than just a career survival guide. The latter half of the book focuses on three keys that can accelerate your climb.

AUTHOR: Tim Cole is a successful business leader, author and speaker. He invested three plus decades in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry—through dozens of restructures and five mergers. He held multiple leadership and senior executive positions and played a major role in the ascent of a mid-sized firm into one of the largest in the world, with direct involvement in the launch of 20 plus pharmaceutical brands—six of which became global blockbusters. He's managed thousands of people and portfolios worth billions of dollars.

MY REVIEW: The Compass Solution is a valuable book for anyone who plans to earn a living. You don't have to navigate a career for 30 or 40 years trying to learn how to be successful. You can sit down and read this splendid book and learn how to do it from someone who has already navigated a unique journey.

Tim Cole wrote this book for three distinct groups of people: *Those contemplating a career but lacking the savvy to properly understand and navigate that new world. *Those already in a career and struggling to find their way—which includes over 50 percent of the workforce in the United States alone. *The leaders who can influence and build the cultures that allow dedicated employees to thrive. You're not going to agree with everything in this book and that's alright. But these are the practical lessons that Tim Cole learned along the way. It's not a book on theory. It is focused on function and application.

I believe The Compass Solution will help you write your own career story. A successful one!

(I received this book from The Cadence Group in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I like Jay Leno. And I like what he said in this column he wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

"I have 150 cars and 117 motorcycles. But I don't buy cars to look at---mine are all functioning. A lot of times, you buy the story as much as you buy the car. A few years ago, I got a call from this 91-year-old woman. She had a 1951 Hudson Hornet. She had bought the car new with her husband. He died in '96, and since then it had been parked in the garage. She would go out with this big feather duster and wipe it off. It was in rough shape, but she was such a nice lady, I bought it and took it back to my garage to restore it. Two years later, I call her up and ask het to take a ride in this car. She says, 'Let me call the kids.' They're like 70 and 72! We get in the car and go for a ride. She's laughing and telling stories about the car and her husband, driving it from New Jersey to California in 1951. The kids are laughing. I'm saying, 'Stop it or I'm going to turn this car around' We were hysterical. It was so much fun."

As I said, I like Jay Leno. I'm not sure about the current late night show hosts, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert. Well, yes I am but I don't want to talk about them now. Pressing on.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Save Nothing For The Next Life
By Erwin Raphael McManus

OVERVIEW: The Last Arrow is your roadmap to a life that defies odds and alters destinies. Discover the attributes of those who break the gravitational pull of mediocrity as cultural pioneer and thought leader Erwin McManus examines the characteristics of individuals who risked everything for a life that seemed impossible. Imagine living the life you were convinced was only a dream.

AUTHOR: Erwin Raphael McManus is an iconoclast, artist, and cultural thought leader known for his integration of creativity and spirituality. He is the founder of MOSAIC, a los Angeles-based community of faith recognized as one of America's most influential and innovative churches. Erwin is the author of books that have sold more than a million copies worldwide. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Kim McManus.

MY REVIEW: With this splendid book McManus has driven an arrow into the ground and declared, "Never settle. It's all or nothing. Save nothing for the next life." He boldly states his challenge and then declares that it will be costly and at great risk. He doesn't offer a back-up plan. Everything is required, including your last arrow. This is tough but McManus believes it is the only way to pursue life's deepest joys and greatest battles—with a full heart and an empty quiver.

I like this book. I like the challenge it presents. We live in a time when it seems all we do is talk, talk, talk. Life is speeding on. We are going to die with our arrows in our hands. McManus wants to know what we are saving those arrows for. It's now or never. It's all or nothing.

This book has a preface and then ten exciting and challenging chapters. The reader is challenged to imagine doing everything he/she was meant to do and then with a full heart, taking his/her final breath. Is that the way you would like to live—and die? Read this book.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Monday, October 16, 2017


OVERVIEW: The KJV Know the Word Study Bible makes it easy for you to understand God's Word. By breaking down key Bible topics and the books of the Bible into bite-size portions, this Bible makes studying Scripture an approachable and rewarding experience. Readers can choose to study book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic, Whether you choose one approach or all three,the KJV Know the Word Study Bible gives you practical tools to develop a pattern of regular Bible study.

MY REVIEW: This is an excellent study Bible. If you already have a study Bible you may be asking, "Why do I need another one?" You may not. But if you need, or would like to have a study Bible that is easy to study book by book, verse by verse or topic by topic—this is the one for you.

Some of the features include: *Timeless King James version text; *Three easy approaches to studying the Bible; *Book introductions; *Words of Jesus in red; *Two-color interior page design; *Comprehensive list of theological notes; *Concordance; *Full-color maps.

I especially like how each book of the Bible begins with a summary of the entire book. As you begin the study you are given an overview of what the book is about. And then you are given suggestions on how to study that particular book and also each book begins with a section called, Study The Book Highlights. Another special tool is the notes found in each book. These are valuable and helpful.

The concordance and maps in the back of the Bible are splendid.

The KJV Know the Word Study Bible will help you gain a deeper understanding of Scripture and grow your relationship with God. You may also want to consider giving it as a gift to a friend.

(I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Making Of A Reagan Conservative
By Craig Shirley

OVERVIEW: Returning to Gingrich's childhood in Pennsylvania and his formative years as a young history professor, Citizen Newt moves through Gingrich's first forays into politics and takes readers behind the scenes of the congressman's crucial roll in the Reagan Revolution, his battles with George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and his masterly orchestration of 1994's "Gingrich Revolution" and the Contract with America, which catapulted him to national prominence and forever changed congressional and national politics.

AUTHOR: Craig Shirley is the author of four critically praised bestsellers about Ronald Reagan. His book, December 1941 appeared multiple times on the New York Times bestseller list. Shirley is the chairman of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, the Visiting Reagan Scholar and a member of the Board of Trustees at Eureka college. Shirley is also on the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch and lectures frequently at the Reagan Library. He has written for an extensive number of publications and has been called "the best of the Reagan biographers" by the Times (London). He and his wife, Zorine, reside at Ben Lomond, a 300-year-old Georgian manor house in Dunnsville, Virginia, and Trickle Down Point on the Rappahannock River in Lancaster, Virginia. They are the parents of four children: Matthew, Andrew, Taylor, and Mitchell.

MY REVIEW: Citizen Newt is a big book, over 500 pages. I have read about a fourth of it and I have skimmed the rest of it. It will be awhile before I read all of it, so I want to get on with this review. I know enough about this book now to agree with Ed Rollins, "Citizen Newt is a must-read for anyone interested in politics or how their government works. As he did with his Reagan books, Shirley takes it all in, making you feel as if you're in the room when the plots are laid and the comebacks seem impossible."

This big book has four parts and thirty-six chapters. I like the fact that Shirley wrote with the full cooperation of Speaker Gingrich and the players around him. He drew upon untold stories from Gingrich and those who knew him best—political allies and opponents, Washington insiders and political iconoclasts, Capitol Hill staffers and colleagues. He took this information and crafted a fascinating, humorous, humanizing and insightful account of a true American original.

I agree with Fred Barnes who said that "Craig Shirley has become the leading biographer of America's political leaders. He did it first with Ronald Reagan and now with Newt Gingrich." As we move into the fall and winter seasons, this would be a splendid book to "curl up" with or to give to a friend or loved one for Christmas.

( I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Monday, September 18, 2017

How to Hear the Voice of God
By Mark Batterson

OVERVIEW: Mark Batterson believes that God still speaks and he's asking if you know how to hear His voice. In this book, Whisper Mark writes that God is actively speaking through: Scripture, Desires, Doors, Dreams, People, Promptings, and Pain. Batterson gives you the tools you need to unlock each of these languages. By learning to tune in to and decipher each language, you'll be able to hear His guidance in simple as well as life-altering choices. God's whisper can answer your most burning questions, calm your deepest fears, and fulfill your loftiest dreams.

AUTHOR: Mark Batterson is the New York Times best-selling author of more than a dozen books. He is the lead pastor of National Community Church, one of the most innovative and influential churches in America. One church with eight campuses, NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, the Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University.

MY REVIEW: He's done it again! Whisper is now one of my favorite books, replacing In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day at the top. Mark Batterson knows how to keep your attention. This book, like all his others is a book that is hard to put down.

Many people have a tough time believing God still speaks. I have struggled with this. But I find little in Batterson's book to disagree with. I'm still rethinking and going over in my mind some of his examples of persons hearing God's voice. I'm not saying they did or did not. I'm thinking and praying about it and always going back to Scripture. My advice is that you do the same. I think Batterson would encourage that.

I recommend this as a book that needs to be read by every sincere Christian wanting to hear the "voice" of God.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Friday, August 18, 2017

Winning the Battle Against Your Giants
By Louie Giglio

OVER VIEW: In Goliath Must Fall, pastor Louie Giglio uncovers a newfound twist in the classic story of David and Goliath. The key to living free from our giants is not better slingshot accuracy, but keeping our eyes on the one and only giant-slayer—Jesus. Put your hope in him and watch Goliath fall.

AUTHOR: Louie Giglio is pastor of Passion City Church and the founder of the Passion movement, which exists to call a generation to leverage their lives for the fame of Jesus. Since 1997, Passion has gathered collegiate-aged young people in events across the U.S. and around the world. Most recently, Passion 2017 gathered more than 55,000 students in Atlanta's Georgia Dome in one of the largest collegiate gatherings in its history. Louie is the author of six books. As a communicator, Louie speaks at events throughout the U.S. and across the globe. He is widely known for messages like "Indescribable" and "How Great Is Our God." An Atlanta native and graduate of Georgia State University, Louie has done postgraduate work at Baylor University and holds a master's degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

MY REVIEW: Goliath Must Fall found its beginning in a series of messages that were preached at Passion City Church. The book is recommended by someone as young as Sadie Robertson and as old as Dr. Charles Stanley. We all, regardless of age face giants that must be dealt with. Maybe not literal giants but BIG problems and challenges that we can't handle. This book offers a pathway away from the fear that has you in its grasp. God wants you to overcome your fears and He is using Louie Giglio and his book to teach you that Goliath must fall. Your Goliath!

Goliath Must Fall is written in a way that keeps your attention. As I read through the chapters I felt like I could hear Louie's voice. There are nine powerful, uplifting chapters. As you read through them your confidence will build. By the time your finish the book you will truly believe that your Goliath must fall. This is a book you will want to read and this pass it on to someone else who needs it.

(I received this book from BOOKLOOK BLOGGERS in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

EVICTED—Poverty And Profit In The American City

Friday, August 11, 2017

Poverty And Profit 
In The American City
By Matthew Desmond

OVERVIEW: In Evicted, Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as "wrenching and revelatory" (The Nation), "vivid and unsettling" (New York Review of Books). Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America's most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

AUTHOR: Matthew Desmond is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he is the author the award-winning book On the Fireline, coauthor of two books on race, and editor of a collection of studies on severe deprivation in America. His work has been supported by the Ford, Russell Sage, and National Science Foundations, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" grant.

MY REVIEW: This New York Times Bestseller has been named one of the best books of the year by many reviewers. I agree. Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review wrote, "It doesn't happen every week (or every month, or even year), but every once in a while a book comes along that changes the national conversation...Evicted looks to be one of those books." At the front of the book there are forty-five brief, and some not so brief, comments from important writers and publications praising the book and author.

This book is well written and reads like a novel. I agree with author Rebecca Skloot who said, "Evicted is astonishing—a master piece of writing and research that fills a tremendous gap in our understanding of poverty." I was born in 1934 and grew up in this kind of poverty. I am now eighty-two and this is the first time I have read or heard of this kind of in-depth study.

The Epilogue, Home And Hope, offers some answers to this part of the poverty problem. They are Matthew Desmond's answers and you may not agree with all of them. But if you are interested or concerned with this problem—this is the book you need to read.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

1,071 Reasons To Never Leave The South
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
# New York times Bestselling Author

Life Is Sweet in the South
Full of small towns and sparkling cities, this welcoming area invites all who visit to put your feet up, have a glass of ice tea in a mason jar and reminisce on some of the most wonderful things in the South. Written by true Southern gentleman H. Jackson Brown Jr., As Southern As It Gets is a charming book of lists—a celebration of all things Southern that will charm and delight anyone who was raised south of the Mason-Dixon or who wish they lived there.
Recall the tastes, sounds, and beauty of Southern treasures such as:
Juicy Georgia peaches in July
Glorious changing leaves on the Natchez Trace
A steaming cup of gumbo from New Orleans
The smooth, soulful voice of Patsy Cline
From Music Row in Nashville, to Daytona Beach in Florida, and Charleston to New Orleans, As Southern As It Gets will remind you of why we Southerns so love our home.

AUTHOR:H. Jackson Brown, Jr. is an American author best known for his inspirational book, Life's Little Instruction Book, which was a New York Times bestseller. Its sequel Life's Little Instruction Book: Volume 2 also made it to the same best seller list in 1993

MY REVIEW: My wife looked at the book and said, "It's certainly a pretty little book." I agreed. It's plaid, blue and white checked cover is lovely and the basket of beautiful, ripe peaches lures you in. The sub-title, 1,071 Reasons To Never Leave The South is intriguing. It makes you want to find out what they are. You will need to read the book to discover these many reasons. But do you want to buy a book in order to do that? I'm not sure. Except for the introduction and several pages with single quotes on them, this is not a book that requires a lot of reading. It is a list of 1,071 reasons to never leave the South. Most of them are just two or three words like, George Strait, sawmill gravy, seafood gumbo and many more. This is the kind of book I can pick up in a book store, thumb through it for a few minutes and feel I have read it. Maybe you're not like that. You may be the kind of person that wants to take a book like this, sit down and lose yourself in it for hours. Taking the time to dwell on each word, remembering, laughing, crying. So I recommend if you are interested at all in the South, take a look at this pretty, little book.

The introduction to this book is only four pages long but it is well written and interesting. After reading it you will be off and running. There are many interesting quotes like, "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." by Maya Angelou. The first list is a list of 20 of his favorites, like cheese grits, sweet tea, blazes of azaleas. And then he lists everything else from A to Z. So there you have it. 1,071 reasons to never leave the South. I like this book and I'm glad to have it.

(I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)